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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut

IV. The New Jersey Convention, 11-20 December 1787,   pp. 177-191

Page 191

in a short time and wait the first opportunity of delivering my charge
to the President [of Congress].
1. FC, Stevens Family Papers, NjHi.
2. Trenton Mercury, 18, 25 December (Mfm:N.J. 23, 25).
3. The New Jersey Form of Ratification.
Governor William Livingston to the State Executives
Elizabethtown, 9 January 17881
I do myself the honor of acquainting Your Excellency that the
state Convention of New Jersey has unanimously ratified the Federal
1. RC, Governor Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, Gratz Collection, PHi.
Other nearly identical circular letters that have been found are addressed to the
state executives of New York (Emmet Collection, New York Public Library), Vir-
ginia (Executive Communications, Virginia State Library), and Pennsylvania (Ben-
jamin Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society Library). For replies from
Governor Huntington and Governor William Smallwood of Maryland, see Mfm:
N.J. 31, 33.
John Stevens, Sr. to David Brearley
Hoboken, 11 February1
As soon as I heard there was a sufficient number of members met
to make a Congress, I proceeded to New York, and on Friday the 1st
instant I delivered to the President in Congress assembled the New
Jersey Ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States;2
and I have the pleasure to inform you that, in conversation with the
President [Cyrus Griffin] at the Chancellor's [Robert R. Livings-
ton's], he said he had no instructions to make me any answer to what
I said to him on delivering the Ratification, but that he thought it
the most ample of any that had been delivered to Congress and, in
particular, the Convention reciting the powers by which they were
convened. I was exactly in time as the Ist of February was set down
for taking up and 'entering the several ratifications, and I delivered
ours before they began that business.
1. FC, Stevens Family Papers, NjHi. This letter, with minor differences in
wording, is printed in Livingston Rutherfurd, Family Records and Events: Com-
piled Principally from the Original Manuscripts in the Rutherfurd Collection (New
York, 1894), 78; and in Archibald Douglas Turnbull, John Stevens: An American
Record (New York and London, 1928), 95. Brearley acknowledged receipt of this
letter on 28 February (to John Stevens, Sr., Trenton, RC, Stevens Family Papers,
Nj Hi).
2. The receipt of the Form of Ratification was noted in Congress' Despatch Book
on 1 February: "President of the Convention of New Jersey-transmitting the
ratification of the Constitution" (PCC, Item 185, Despatch Book, 1779-89, Vol. 4,
p. 23, DNA).

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